Earlier, a lot of Highway commuters complained on the congestion at Toll Plazas and other maintenance issues. To address the same, the Government of India (GoI) has initiated the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) project. The National Highways Authority of India has created a Highway operations division to look after this project. Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, CGM of Highway Operations and IT in NHAI, is assigned with this project.
As national highways carry around 40% of trade even though they form just 2% of roadways, they witness a huge traffic at peak times. Such situations congest Toll Plazas making journeys tougher. So, the Highway Operations division led by Mr Akhilesh Srivastava has come up with a solution with the Electronic Toll Collection System, under the mechanism of usage of FASTag stickers.
FASTag, the name itself indicates that it is aimed at reducing waiting time thus improving the travelling speed on the national highways. FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, which is unique. It has a lot of technical and non-technical advantages. For the same reason the GoI made it mandatory to have FASTags on vehicles purchased after December 2017.
Commuters have to mount FASTags to their vehicles’ windscreens to get it scanned by the sensors deployed at Toll Plazas. When a “FASTagged” vehicle passes by a FASTag enabled Toll Plaza, without any human intervention, the Toll gets deducted from the commuter’s associated account. This process is decongesting traffic at the Toll Plazas at peak times. And, the Highway Operations division is in the process of creating a dedicated FASTag lane in each of the toll plazas across the country to make every commuter’s journey smoother and effortless.
Apart from the aforementioned purpose, this system helps NHAI to track the amount of traffic on Highways. The traffic data can be used to plan the future projects of NHAI.